A Nike shoe designer mocked Derrick Rose's season-ending ACL injury on Twitter on Sunday, igniting a firestorm of criticism on the social media website.
Jason Petrie, who designed LeBron James' signature sneakers, tweeted that Rose should have signed with Nike after the Chicago Bulls superstar tore his ACL in the final minutes of Game 1 of Chicago's Eastern Conference quarterfinals series against the Philadelphia 76ers.
"You got one guy only getting stronger, and one guy breaking down before our very eyes. You chose poorly Pooh... #shouldasignedwithNIKE #GWS," Petrie wrote, referring also to James and Heat's 33-point Game 1 victory over the New York Knicks.
Rose signed long-term deal with rival shoemaker adidas in February.
Petrie's comments drew enough outrage that Petrie tried to assuage his followers, tweeting: "Y'all take sh#t too serious! Never want to see anyone get hurt- I hope DRose comes back stronger than ever, he's too good..."
FoxSports.com reported Sunday that Petrie then went back on the offensive Saturday, writing, "Just to set the record straight- if you ain't with me you against me, and if that's the case I don't give a F about you!"
On Sunday morning, Petrie apologized for his comments.
"Wow! Twitterverse I do apologize. It was really just tongue n cheek! Never meant any harm or disrespect!," he tweeted.
"As a brand that is passionate about sport, we recognize the intense level of play that every athlete has engaged in during this basketball season and respect the dedication it takes to compete," Nike said in a statement Sunday. "One of our basketball footwear designers posted comments online that we feel are inappropriate, and he has since apologized. We wish anyone who is injured a speedy recovery."
Rose suffered the injury while trying to leap off his left foot in the lane with 1:22 left in Saturday's playoff game against the 76ers.
Rose was helped off the court before the Bulls sealed their 103-91 Game 1 win. Rose had 23 points, nine rebounds and nine assists when he was injured.
Team medical personnel immediately rushed out and tended to Rose for several minutes as he was writhing in pain near the baseline before helping him to the locker room. Rose was taken to the hospital, where MRI results confirmed the Bulls' worst fears.
The 23-year-old Rose played in just 39 of the Bulls' 66 regular-season games because of turf toe, back spasms, pulled groin and foot injuries. He hasn't played more than two games in a row since suffering a foot injury on March 12.
Information from ESPNChicago.com's Nick Friedell and The Associated Press contributed to this article.